Biological Contamination of Food

Biological Contamination of Food
Coming up next: Benzene Exposure: Symptoms & Health Effects

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What is Biological…
  • 1:00 Biological Contaminant Sources
  • 2:15 Biological Contaminant…
  • 3:09 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Have you ever wondered where the biological contaminants of our food come from? Many blame animals for this but there's a lot more to it. Find out what biological contaminants are, their sources, and examples of many of them.

What Is Biological Contamination?

What do steak, bacon, really tasty vegetables, and fruits all have in common? The answer is they all have the potential for being contaminated with biological organisms. If you don't wash and cook them thoroughly, you're putting yourself at risk of potentially really serious infections. Let's find out what some of them are in this lesson.

What do we mean when we say biological contamination? More often than not, this term specifically denotes the contamination of food with microorganisms. Microorganisms are the living things we commonly need a microscope to see in detail. This means things like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

You can argue that an insect found in food or even a rodent is a biological contaminant, and you'd definitely be right in many respects. However, biological contamination is more commonly seen specifically as microbiological contamination.

Biological Contaminant Sources

There are way too many microorganisms that can contaminate our food to go over them all, but you're about to get a good overview. Many, but not all, of these are transmitted via fecal contamination of our food. This feces may come from animals or humans.

For example, cow manure may contaminate milk. Human waste, such as that from sewage runoff, may contaminate crops. But human waste may contaminate our food without any sewage also. For example, if a restaurant employee doesn't wash their hands properly after going #2 and then handles the food you eat, you are being put at risk of an illness stemming from any microorganism in their gut.

However, some of the biological contaminants may be present in the meat or milk of an animal already, without any further need for fecal contamination, and if this product isn't properly cooked, you're setting yourself up for trouble. For instance, some parasites actually live inside the cells that make up the muscle of an animal. If you are lover of raw, rare, or even medium rare meat then you may be eating those parasites. Only by thoroughly cooking your food can you ensure that you kill all those microorganisms on or within the food you eat.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support